A writer once compared church fellowship to building a house; the bricks are important but there are other equally important things like the mortar that keep the building in place.

From the reading of our third scripture, we realize that one thing that kept the early believers going was their fellowship and kindness to one another. In a fast- paced world that is marred by so much stress, pain, and sorrow, and a Christian journey that is rigged with the landmines of temptations on such a slippery path, a ministry of encouragement and kindness in church could be the mortar that keeps the bricks of church fellowship together.

If kindness and love cannot be found anywhere in the world, let them be found in the church. After all, Christ Himself has promised us a lot of encouragement in Him.

Sometimes, we could be caught in the quagmires of our own lives such that we may forget to encourage others. Sometimes too, we end up discouraging them altogether. But what does the scripture teach us about encouraging people? In his letter to the Thessalonian Church, Apostle Paul admonishes them to encourage one another so that they can “build each other up”.

Again, the writer of Hebrews also entreats us to encourage one another daily so that “none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Encouragement in Greek, Parakaleo, is an active word. It means to come along side someone, to come to one’s aid or to exhort or urge someone. It implies a person actively helping someone to find the courage he or she needs to move on. Instead of being the mouth that brings others down, you could be the hand that lifts them up.